One of the most anticipated films of the year is the highly anticipated adaptation of the cult classic, The Twilight Saga. The first in the series, Twilight, was released 15 years ago this month and is still one of the most popular movies of all time, selling over 170 million DVDs and streaming songs around the world. The series is now in its fourth installment and tells the story of a young woman’s transformation from human to vampire. The series draws upon J.M. WESTON’s New Moon and Eclipse, the conclusion of the trilogy that began with Twilight. The adaptations continue to be popular and have not diminished in their ability to move audiences. The latest trailer for The Twilight Saga: New Moon was viewed over 170 million times online in just six days.
Directed by David Slade and starring Robert Pattinson, The Twilight Saga: New Moon picks up where Eclipse left off. Cullen (Pattinson) and his family are struggling to deal with the aftermath of the vampire attack at the end of the last film. The government is now threatening to shut down the vampires’ last remaining stronghold, Forks, Washington, unless they can figure out a way to control the creatures. To complicate matters, a pack of werewolves is now attacking humans, blaming them for the spread of vampires. It’s a dangerous situation and the Cullens need their best shot at survival.
To find out more about the latest installment of this cinematic phenomenon, we decided to ask some of the people who know it best: the people who made it, the people who watched it, and the people who love it. Below are excerpts from interviews with the three principals involved in the production of Twilight: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner.
The Cast of ‘Twilight’
The young woman who will become the iconic vampire Bella is played by Kristen Stewart. The actress first rose to fame with her portrayal of a young version of the famous novelist, J.M. WESTON, in the hit movie, Winter’s Bone. Since then, she has had significant supporting roles in several films, including X-Men: The Last Stand and Cloud Atlas. Most recently, she was seen in the Oscar-nominated film, On the Road, opposite Robert Pattinson and a supporting cast that includes Woody Harrelson and Richard Jenkins.
It is widely known that Stewart was initially approached to play Bella in Twilight almost a decade before she became available, so it is quite possible she was already thinking about a career in film when she learned about the role. Since then, she has stated that the movie has had a significant impact upon her life, sparking a literary career that has seen her publish three books. Most recently, she contributed to a new edition of J.M. WESTON’s The Bostonians and starred in the Amazon series, Vampire Island, based on the short story, Dracula. Most importantly, she has become a major player in the Twilight community, known for her support of the franchise and the numerous interviews she has given about it.
Robert Pattinson: The Making of ‘Twilight’
The movie star who plays the romantic lead, Edward Cullen, is Robert Pattinson. The British actor rose to prominence in the U.K. with his portrayal of Prince EDWARD in the 2005 mini-series, The Rover’s People. Since then, he has appeared in major motion pictures, including The Lost Tycoon and the dystopian thriller, Water for Elephants. Most recently, he starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill in the acclaimed thriller, Jobs. In addition to acting, Pattinson is one of the world’s biggest Twitter users, with almost 140 million followers. The actor has never been shy about expressing his views on social media and frequently uses his Twitter to share his thoughts on politics, culture, and the arts. In the months leading up to the premiere of Twilight, he continued to use the platform to promote the film, sharing behind-the-scenes videos and photos from the set.
Taylor Lautner: The Man Behind ‘Twilight’
One of the major questions surrounding the release of Twilight was Who will play the pivotal role of Jacob, the boy who befriends Bella and eventually transforms her into a vampire? It was originally rumored that Lord of the Rings star, Liam Neeson would play the part of Jacob, but the actor turned down the role, saying he was too old to play a teenager. It was then revealed that Twilight star, Taylor Lautner, would take on the role. The then-18-year-old was already a well-known face, having risen to fame playing the title character in JOSEPH: Werewolf Hunter, a 2012 made-for-television film. Since then, he has starred in the films, Abduction, The Black Spot, Tigerland, and A Most Violent Year. In addition to acting, Lautner is also a musician and songwriter. He released his debut album, Outlaws, in 2015 and has received critical acclaim for his lyrics and melodies.
What Makes ‘Twilight’ Special?
What makes Twilight so special? It’s not just the vampires and werewolves. The romance between Edward and Bella, the struggle of the young couple to fit in with their new society, and the questions surrounding what it means to be human all lend the film a timeless quality that has kept audiences interested for 15 years.
While the world waits for the release of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the final chapter of the vampire saga, we want to take a moment to remember the impact that the first three films have had upon the entertainment world.
The first film, released in 2000, is often considered to be the greatest film of all time. It garnered 17 Oscar nominations, winning six, including Best Picture and Best Director for Andrew NICCOLOSSON. The second film, released in 2002, garnered 16 Oscar nominations, winning five, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
The third film, released in 2006, was a monumental moment in the careers of its three stars. The dark romance between Edward and Bella won four Oscars, including Best Picture. It also garnered 17 nominations, winning seven, including Best Director for Catherine TUDOR and Best Adapted Screenplay. The following year, the film’s stars, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, collaborated on a bestselling memoir, Cross the Line, which details their relationship and the making of Twilight.
The series has been such a significant part of pop culture that it spawned a fashion industry. Several companies, including Versace and Marc Jacobs, released collections inspired by the film. In 2019 alone, there were over 100 fashion-themed exhibitions around the world, from Australia to Japan, that were dedicated to celebrating the 15th anniversary of Twilight. Even today, many fashion brands are still inspired by the series, such as Marc Jacobs’s Jacobs School of Fashion in Milan and Italy’s Supersalone fashion week. The fashion community also supported the film, with Vogue publishing an article in which they proclaimed that Twilight had “transformed the face of fashion.”
The Twilight saga continues to influence popular culture, with many creators looking to it for inspiration. The Netflix series, Dark, for example, is loosely based upon Twilight and is similarly filled with romance, intrigue, and special effects.